There’s a funny-yet-sobering ditty bounding about cyberspace that chronicles a day in the life of an unemployed American looking for work.
Whether it’s the alarm clock, the coffee pot, clothing, appliances, the car and the gasoline it takes to run it, everything with which this person interfaces during the course of the day comes from overseas – especially China or some other East Asian country.
For those of you who haven’t encountered this satirical little piece yet, you can read it here.
Dana Bales, an industry colleague of mine who is a managing partner at Dayton, OH-based NEO Marketing Communications, reacted to this joke by noting a few key points about China. He writes:
I’m a free trade advocate. I absolutely support NAFTA. But for the life of me, I don’t get our trade relationship with China. Let me get this straight:
China imposes trade barriers to many of our goods and services.
China allows its industries to pollute with impunity, keeping its costs for manufactured goods lower while adding to atmospheric and oceanic pollution.
China allows its citizens and companies to rip off non-Chinese patents.
Although experts may disagree on the degree of impact, China manipulates its currency to benefit its own export goods.
China actively supports efforts to hack into U.S. corporate and defense systems, stealing untold billions of dollars’ worth of technology.
China uses American dollars to subsidize its own industries.
Food for thought, indeed – even if you don’t agree with every single one of Bales’ statements.
It would be nice, too, if our government and trade officials could focus on coming up with some workable solutions to these issues. I think we’d all be happier if we could relegate this sort of gallows humor to the literary trash can!
2 thoughts on “Jobless Americans and Gallows Humor …”
Prediction: If fuel costs continue to rise AND Chinese labor costs continue their upward engrenage, U.S. manufacturing will make a comeback. Watch.
NAFTA MAFTA SAFTA . . how about a whiff of reality?
There is a cynical approach to fixing one’s joblessness:
Establish a non-profit corporation to educate the public about joblessness. The benefits are convincing: Public money, i.e. YOUR money, is flowing to you, paying your modest Executive Director salary plus all your expenses – for which you need to pay no income tax. The mission statement can be as vague and noncommittal as that of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: “Committed to the idea that . . . “ and here follow various good sounding intentions. Since it is only the IDEA they are committed to . . get the drift?
Especially if the purpose or mission doesn’t actually require much else than to print booklets and organize lectures, it’s a nice gig. That’s one approach. Leech from the bottom up.
The other SMAFTA approach, unfortunately, leeches from the top down and is, as has become obvious by now, eventually self-destructive because any social order led by the narrow tip of a hierarchy can do so only by two means: By control or by consent, both of which requires what some call “community”. That community, however, must be and must be considered separate from the ruling tip of the pyramid, because that tip (as of late 2011 also called 1%) needs an ongoing depletion of the base in order to keep itself where it is, on top. There is no equation that can prove anything to the contrary. And that is where we are today.